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GlaxoSmithKline said executives in China may have broken laws

July 22, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, under investigation in China on suspicion its employees bribed doctors, said some senior executives appeared to have broken Chinese laws.
Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, under investigation in China on suspicion… (Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated…)

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Monday that some of its executives in China appeared to have broken laws as authorities there investigate allegations of widespread bribery by the company.

Chinese police, who have detained four company employees in China so far, accused the drugmaker of bribing hospitals and doctors to prescribe their drugs and using a network of travel agencies to funnel the money.

It's part of a string of international firms that have come under scrutiny in China over allegations of bribery and corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. The new leadership that took over in China last year has vowed to keep control of spiraling healthcare costs and improve the medical system.

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Chinese authorities have said illegal dealings contribute to higher prices for drugs and other medical expenses for ordinary Chinese people.

Abbas Hussain, GSK's head of emerging markets, said on Monday the drugmaker had met with Chinese officials and was reviewing the company's business model.

"Certain senior executives of GSK China who know our systems well appear to have acted outside of our processes and controls, which breaches Chinese law," Hussain said in a statement.

Also on Monday, another British drugmaker, AstraZeneca, said Shanghai police visited its office on Friday and took away a sales representative for questioning.

A spokeswoman told Reuters that it involved an individal case and there is no reason to believe "it's related to any other investigations."

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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